SportsWomen's Soccer

Oregon soccer’s Kelsey Foo and Lilly Archer find a creative escape



For Kelsey Foo and Lilly Archer life is often eat, sleep and breathe soccer.

From practice to weightlifting and games, both Foo and Archer sometimes find time to sneak away from the turf to pursue another passion: art.

“I have always been artsy. Being able to be creative in my major is a lot of fun,” Foo said. “A lot of people are jealous of my homework because I am always making prototypes or drawings.”

Foo has also participated in Art of the Athlete and her work has appeared on the walls of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum.

“It just gives me a mental break from everything,” Foo said. “During pre-season with double days, we are always here and always around the team so it gives me an opportunity to do my own thing.”

The redshirt junior from San Jose, California is a product design major and hopes to one day design something sports related like footwear, apparel or equipment.

She described herself as a big “shoehead” and added that she has always enjoyed collecting sneakers, which in turn sparked her interest in footwear.

Foo is currently designing a soccer cleat for class, a product she is very familiar with.

“Being an athlete helps because I can take what the problems of an athlete,” Foo said “It’s cool because I can get feedback from my teammates and adjust things that way instead of just having my personal feedback.”

In the future, Foo said it would be awesome to design footwear and work for Nike.

For Archer, she finds her passion for art and soccer don’t often intermix.

“I make a conscious effort to try to find inspiration outside of soccer,” Archer said.

However, she added that it can often be hard to find something that isn’t soccer related when given prompts for projects that require a personal aspect.

Similar to Foo, class is often an escape from the every day stress of being a student athlete.

“I definitely think it (art) helps me release stress. It’s not like a science major where I have to study for tests every other week, it’s usually four big  projects and you get time to work on them and develop ideas. If I really get into a project, I will spend 20 hours on a project…It’s something I really enjoy. I kind of get consumed in it and afterwards, you can be proud of what you made and you have something tangible rather than just a letter grade.”

Archer is a digital arts major and hopes to find a job in graphic design and potentially become an art director one day. She simply said she wants to “make our society prettier.” The graduating senior did an internship this past summer and upon graduating, hopes to move back to her hometown of Portland, where she says there is a creative market.

“Especially now that we are coming to graduate I am trying to find how my artistic side and fill that void that soccer did with all that time,” Archer said. “I am trying to find an artistic identity instead of an athletic identity.”

Follow Beth Maiman on Twitter @bethamaiman


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Beth Maiman

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